Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Joke of the Day

The thing I love most about children, is their absolute innocence. There are so many times when you misjudge, or get frustrated with a child, when really, they are not trying to be bad. A lot of our trials with children really stem from communication and understanding. At times it would do us all good to slow down and try to remember what life would be like if we didn't know everything we think we know.

I have a great friend who has a child that puts everything in her mouth. I'll call her Lizzy, (names have been changed). We were getting in an elevator and little two year old Lizzy saw some food on the ground and before you could blink an eye, she had it in her mouth. I'm not sure if it was a piece of chicken nugget, or dog food. Either way, to this little girl, it looked as good as anything else she might be asked to eat.

Later on in the evening, she was lucky enough to find some already chewed gum on the ground. In her mind, she figured it looked delicious and interesting so she popped it in her mouth. After her mom told her to spit it out, five minutes later she spotted a discarded cigarette. She felt the need to pick it up and taste it too. This is when my sweet friend recognized the need to stop everything, and get down and look into her sweet child's eyes and explain in detail, on a level she could understand without confusion, why we don't pick everything up and put it in our mouth. What a great teaching opportunity and parenting moment.

Had she punished this little girl at this time, she still would have missed a wonderful teaching opportunity. This same day I witnessed a parent on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I was standing in line at a store when a father and son who appeared to be about the same age, around two years old, came in. As soon as they entered the store the oxygen in the room seemed to get sucked out. The father was yelling and screaming and calling the poor little guy names. At one point, his phone rang and he talked the same way to who ever was on the other end of the line. I looked at this little boy and he seemed to be mentally crushed and broken. I just wanted to scoop him up in my arms. From my perspective this little guy was expected to follow a set of instructions far beyond his capacity to understand. In the end both the child and the parent were left angry. Neither one was satisfied with the outcome.

I look to the bible for help whenever I wonder how to handle the raising of a child. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth” (Hebrews 12:6). I know at times we need to chasten our children.

President Boyd K. Packer has observed that when a person in a position to correct another fails to do so, he is thinking of himself. Remember that reproof should be timely, with sharpness or clarity... and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy.

I love it when I see a parent who does this in such a wonderful manner.

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